Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14: EF/OF/Ben62)


Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

"The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, when the emperor Heraclius, after defeating King Chosroes, brought it back to Jerusalem from Persia."

The True Cross was rediscovered in 326 by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was then built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena and Constantine.

In 614, that portion of the cross was carried away from the church by the Persians.  It was recovered by the Emperor Heraclius in 628. Initially taken to Constantinople, the cross was returned to the church the following year.  The date of the feast marks the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335.

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